Chicago mayor defends firefighter exams

By Fran Spielman
Chicago Sun Times
Copyright 2006 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Mayor Daley denied Wednesday that Chicago is endangering firefighters and the general public by allowing an 83 percent passage rate on a "ninth-grade level" entrance exam to determine the next list of firefighter candidates.

"We're not lowering the standards [to achieve diversity]. We're keeping the standards just as good as anyplace else. Other cities have been doing it. This is not unique," he said.

More than 83 percent of the 20,400 people who took Chicago's first firefighters entrance exam in more than a decade passed — and 44 percent of them are minorities.

Daley made his comments at a Navy Pier news conference called to announce the Chicago Children's Museum's long-awaited move to Grant Park.

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